Colosseum, Roman Forum & Vatican Highlights Combo Tour

Skip the line at two of Rome’s most iconic sites with Sistine Chapel and Palatine Hill included

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 145 Reviews · 8.00h · Vatican, Italy

Wondering about the easiest way to see Rome’s biggest attractions at a great price? Then you came to the right place! Save time and money by combining two of our most popular tours with skip-the-line tickets and expert local guides to make sure your Roman experience works out perfectly. Join a small group to explore the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica, then step into ancient Rome to visit the world-famous Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill!

  • Skip-the-line Vatican tickets
  • Guided Colosseum tour
  • Second Floor of the Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill
  • Main Galleries
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Bernini's Baldacchino

Start your combo tour at the green kiosk near the Colosseo metro stop, where you’ll meet your expert guide and small group. Enjoy skipping the line here, giving you more time to explore inside the famous arena as your guide separates fact from fiction. Visit the first and second levels and stroll through the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to discover more of ancient Rome.

You’ll have break for lunch in Rome before making your way to Caffé Vaticano for the second part of your tour. With skip-the-line entry again, you'll walk past the long line of tourists and enjoy faster entry into security. Explore the masterpieces of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica, hearing fascinating stories from the Vatican’s long history from your guide along the way.

Vatican and Colosseum Combo Tour Description

Your 8.5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Colosseum

  • Colosseum tour with first and second tier access

  • Guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

  • Free time for lunch in Rome

  • Skip-the-line entry to the Vatican

  • Guided tour the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica

  • Engaging English-speaking guides

  • Maximum group size of 14

This Vatican and Colosseum tour is a combination of two popular tours. After enjoying lunch on your own, meet up with your group again to explore the Colosseum with a new guide. Booking a combo tour saves you money since you see more attractions at a lower price!

The Jaw-Dropping Colosseum

Breeze past the crowds to start exploring this ancient Roman structure, and your passionate local guide will take you back in time with stories of the gruesome fights and epic spectacles that once happened here. You’ll explore the first and second tiers of the Colosseum—areas that were originally reserved only for Rome’s most elite classes.

Learn how the Colosseum was built and the history of the bloody battles that defined Roman history. After an hour inside the mighty arena, you’ll be in the mood for a little more of the ancient city.

Please note that depending on the assigned entry time for the Colosseum, your tour might enter the Roman Forum first and end in the Colosseum.

Guided Roman Forum Tour

Just a stone’s throw away from the Colosseum sits the historic Roman Forum—once the location of downtown ancient Rome. Your guide will show you some of the most famous Roman Forum buildings including the Temple of Julius Caesar, Arch of Titus, the Roman Senate House, and more. Re-live ancient history as you walk down the same roads taken by famous Roman emperors and philosophers.

Climb Palatine Hill

From the ancient downtown, your guide will lead you to a place we like to think of as the Beverly Hills of Ancient Rome. Climb the Palatine Hill and take in the views over Circus Maximus. You'll explore the 2,000-year-old palaces and learn stories of Rome's rich and famous.

Free Time for Lunch then on to the Vatican

Your friendly Colosseum guide will say goodbye and you’ll have some free time to buy a tasty Roman lunch before making your way to the Vatican Museums for your guided tour.

Pio-Clementino Museum and Nero's Bath

At the start of your tour, you'll follow your guide to the Bramante Courtyard, designed by Donato Bramante. This part of the Vatican Museums is home to the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons, and the Belvedere Torso.

Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic sculptures before visiting the oldest and largest bathtub in existence. Nero's bathtub is an incredible 25 feet long and is made from a rare red marble that isn't even available nowadays!

Popular Vatican Galleries

Your guide will lead you on through the Vatican Museums, visiting the Candelabra Gallery, Gallery of the Tapestries, and Gallery of Maps. Admire the ancient Roman and Greek statues, the Flemish tapestries created by Raphael's students, and the gorgeous topographical depictions of Italy.

At the height of the Roman Empire, pontiffs rarely left Rome. In order to understand the Italian peninsula without endangering his life, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned 40 giant meticulous maps to be created for his use.

Most of these maps measure more than 15 by 16 feet, and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. You'll hear the stories behind these treasures from your expert guide as the Vatican secrets are slowly unveiled to you.

Raphael Rooms and The School of Athens

Raphael is the epitome of a Renaissance artist. In the period of European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, a great period of revival in art, literature, and thought occurred. Raphael encompassed the ideals of a Renaissance man and frescoed multiple rooms inside of the Vatican Museums.

His most celebrated work is the School of Athens which is on display here. The painting represents a gathering of the greatest mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists. Raphael included himself in the painting, much like an early version selfie.

Borgia Apartments

Downstairs from the Raphael Rooms and once occupied by Borgia Pope Alexander VI, these private chambers were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. As a co-pupil of Raphael’s under master Perugino, Pinturicchio had a penchant for embedding fake jewels and other three-dimensional objects like metal saddle studs in his frescoes. The Borgia Apartments also contain another hidden gem: the first European depiction of Native Americans.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

One of the top things to do in Vatican City is visit the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel is the private chapel of the pope, and it's where cardinals from around the world gather when it's time to elect a new pope. Only when you are inside, is it clear why the Sistine Chapel is one of the most celebrated works of art in western civilization. Michelangelo painted more than 600 figures in all, and the sheer magnitude of his endeavor is mind-blowing.

Take in the wonder of Michelangelo's masterpiece and examine the vivid depictions of biblical stories, from Genesis to Revelations. You'll see the famous Creation of Man and the Last Judgement as you enjoy the serenity of the world's most famous chapel.

Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed. Your guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, but they’ll take time to explain in detail what you’ll see.

To enter the Sistine Chapel, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders, otherwise, the Vatican might refuse entry to religious sites and you’ll miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

St. Peter's Basilica

After your time in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you'll walk through a passageway that allows you to bypass the ticket lines and enter St. Peter's Basilica more quickly. Here, you'll be awestruck as your guide leads you around by the impressive architecture, statues, and artwork made by famous artists like Michelangelo and Bernini. Gaze upon the beautiful Pietà, the incredible mosaics, the Tomb of Innocent XI, and Bernini's canopy under the dome.

Please note that St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesdays for the Papal Audience and can occasionally experience other unexpected closures. If this happens, your guide will make up the time at other areas within the Vatican.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line entry to the Colosseum
Colosseum tour with first and second tier access
Guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Free time for lunch in Rome
Skip-the-line entry to the Vatican
Guided tour the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica
Engaging English-speaking guides
Maximum group size of 14
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145 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 145 reviews)
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1 stars
Just amazing
26 May 2023
J
Reviewed by
Johnathan Wiesman

Our guides were super knowledgeable and just from looking around at some of the other tours going on I could tell I lucked out and chose this one. Couldn’t have gone any better both lovely ladies who know everything about their tours and give plenty of extra city tips and recommendations for your stay! Couldn’t have been better.

18 May 2023
J
Reviewed by
Joanne kallidis

Loved this tour!
25 March 2023
A
Reviewed by
Abigail Guillemart

Highly recommend - were able to very quickly go inside.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

Please be sure to meet Vatican dress code requirements by covering your knees and shoulders in the most sacred religious areas like the Sistine Chapel. You'll also want to wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour?

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise the Vatican might refuse entry to religious sites and you’ll miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Is there a way to see the Vatican without a guided tour?

Yes, you can purchase a ticket to see the Vatican Museums on your own. Click here for skip the line Vatican tickets.

What if I have concerns about my mobility on this tour?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, you might prefer a Private Rome in a Day Tour. Private tours offer more flexibility and the ability to accommodate your specific needs, especially on walking tours that include sets of stairs and uneven terrain.

Does the Vatican ever experience sudden closures?

During state visits or special religious events, parts of the Vatican may be closed unexpectedly and without much notice. If an area normally visited during a tour is suddenly closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. They will even show you another gallery to compensate for the lost time in the usual location.

Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?

St. Peter's Basilica is always closed on Wednesday mornings for the weekly papal audience. If you book a tour on Wednesday, your guide will make up the time in other fascinating areas of the Vatican Museums.

What to bring?

Please be sure to meet Vatican dress code requirements by covering your knees and shoulders in the most sacred religious areas like the Sistine Chapel. You'll also want to wear comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

Where does this tour end?

This Vatican tour will end in or just outside of St. Peter's Basilica (except on Wednesdays when it will end at the Vatican exit near St. Peter's Square). You're free to stay in the church and explore some more if you like.

Is photography allowed in the Sistine Chapel?

No, the Vatican requests that no photos or videos be taken inside the Sistine Chapel.

Start From: $133.15

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$133.15 / per person
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